Friday, November 15, 2013

Saola Sighting in Vietnam

One of the rarest and most threatened mammals on earth has been caught on camera in  Vietnam for the first time in 15 years, renewing hope for the recovery of the species, an international conservation group said on Wednesday.
The saola, a long-horned ox, was photographed in a forest in central Vietnam in September, WWF said.
"This is a breathtaking discovery and renews hope for the recovery of the species," Van Ngoc Thinh, the group's Vietnam country director said.
The animal was first discovered in the remote areas of high mountains near the border with Laos in 1992 when a joint team from WWF and Vietnam's forest control agency found a skull with unusual horns in a hunter's home. The find proved to be the first large mammal new to science in more than 50 years.

In Vietnam, the last sighting of a saola in the wild was in 1998, according to Dang Dinh Nguyen, director of the Saola natural reserve in the central province of Quang Nam.
The WWF has recruited forest guards from local communities to remove snares and battle illegal hunting in the area where the saola was photographed. It said poaching was the greatest threat to saola's survival. The snares are set to largely catch other animals, such as deer and civets, which are a delicacy in Vietnam.
Twenty years after its discovery, little is known about saola and the difficulty in detecting the elusive animal has prevented scientists from making a precise population estimate.
At best, no more than a few hundred, and maybe only a few dozen, survive in the remote, dense forests along the border with Laos, according to WWF.

Gallery The saola 'Asian unicorn' in pictures

 Discovered, wiped out and cloned: the bizarre life cycle of the saola

'Asian unicorn' at risk of extinction from poaching, WWF warns

'Asian unicorn' dies after capture in Laos

Rare saola caught by villagers and shown to conservationists was thought to be one of only a few hundred left in the wild

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wade: Did you hear about the new species of monkey they discovered in the Amazon which purrs? I was just double checking something in The Circus Report for June 2, 1975. That's where I read about three tiger cubs being born from Baron Julius Von Uhl's tigress on May 24th, 1975 in Fairfield, California. I checked with some of the public libraries in the area to try and get a newspaper article off of micro-film, but there wasn't any in the local paper, or in San Francisco or Sacramento. There is an article in the March 3, 1975 issue of The Circus Report about the custody battle between Baron Julius Von Uhl and John F. Cuneo Jr. over Tony in Detroit. It says the judge ordered John F. Cuneo to pay $20,000 for Tony, which was $4000 more than the $16,000 that Mr. Cuneo wanted to pay. They had a disagreement at MarineWorld/ AfricaUSA in Vallejo, California (which is quite close to Fairfield, which is equi-distant between San Francisco and Sacramento being 38 miles from each) over the division of a litter of three white tiger cubs. Andy Goldfarb, the tiger trainer, who worked there at the time, sent me a postcard of the three white tiger cubs. Their father was Samson, the white tiger they bought from Josip Marcan, and the mother was an orange tigress which another tiger trainer acquired from Josip Marcan. MarineWorld decided to let the tiger trainer, who owned the mother, keep three of the cubs.I have had two conversations with Baron Julius Von Uhl and he never mentioned any tiger cubs born in Fairfield, California in 1975 or at the Baaltimore County Fair in 1976. He told me he had tiger cubs born in Georgia and Indiana. Take care. Sincerely Paul